HOF Spotlight: Ollie Matson

08.06.2012

Ollie Matson
Name: Ollie Matson
Position: Halfback
Pro Career: 1952, 1954 – 1966
Team Affiliation(s): Chicago Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles
College: San Francisco
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: A lone shining star in an otherwise dark abyss, Ollie Matson was often the sole bright spot for awful teams. Yet despite playing for just two teams with winning records during his brilliant 14-year career, and often being the opposing defense’s only target, Matson built an exceptional résumé. A quick-footed All-American who represented the United States in the 1952 Olympics, Matson was the number 1 draft choice of the basement dwelling Chicago Cardinals and was their supposed savior. When he was traded to Los Angeles for an unheard-of 9 players in 1959, he was once again labeled the potential deliverer for a fledging franchise. While Lady Luck was never Matson’s teammate, he competed to his fullest year in and year out and was a six-time Pro Bowl and All-NFL honoree.

Career Stats: 171 games played; 5,173 rushing yards; 40 rushing TDs; 3,285 receiving yards; 23 receiving TDs; 3,746 kickoff return yards; 6 kickoff return TDs; 119 passing yards; 595 punt return yards; 3 punt return TDs; 1 fumble recovery TD, 3 INTs

1952 Bowman #127

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #127. Along with fellow University of San Francisco alumnus and 1972 Hall of Inductee Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson was featured on his rookie card before ever playing a down of professional football, something not nearly as common as today. There are not a lot of copies of this card listed on eBay, but prices range from about $50 to $499. Buying vintage can certainly be a lot of fun, especially for older collectors or football history buffs. Just always be aware of what you’re buying as lots of counterfeits and reprints do exist, especially for a legendary set like the 1952 Bowmans.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Gino Marchetti

07.30.2012

Gino Marchetti
Name: Gino Marchetti
Position: Defensive End
Pro Career: 1952 – 1964, 1966
Team Affiliation(s): Dallas Texans, Baltimore Colts
College: San Francisco
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: If one man struck fear into the hearts of professional quarterbacks during the 1950s and early 1960s, that man would have to be Gino Marchetti. Still considered one of the greatest defensive ends of all time, Marchetti was a fierce competitor with a knack for squelching rushing plays and even greater ability to disrupt an opponent’s passing attack. Marchetti was named to a then-record 11 straight Pro Bowls, although he was forced to miss one with a broken leg, and was named to nine straight All-NFL teams. After his career ended, he still collected accolades as he was named the top defensive end of the NFL’s initial 50 seasons.

Career Stats: 161 games played; 13 fumble recoveries; 2 fumble recovery TDs; 1 receiving TD (his only professional reception); 1 safety; 1 INT

1952 Bowman #23

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #23. Even as an unproven rookie, Gino Marchetti had the attention of the masses and was included in the now legendary 1952 Bowman set. There are surprisingly few copies listed on eBay and the average price seems to be just north of $100. For a rookie card of one of the greatest defensive ends of all time, that seems like a sweet deal to me. When looking to purchase a 1952 Bowman football card, keep in mind that there is a Large and a small set. Also, as with all vintage sets, there are lots of graded copies available along with the usually lower-priced raw cards. Decide what you like best before you start buying so you can have some focus and continuity in your collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Lamar Hunt

07.23.2012

Lamar Hunt
Name: Lamar Hunt
Position: League Founder, Owner
Pro Career: 1959 – 2006
Team Affiliation(s): Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs
College: Southern Methodist
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: What do you do when you’re a 26-year-old who is frustrated in trying to obtain an NFL franchise? Establish a new rival league. That’s just what Lamar Hunt did in 1959 when he helped create the American Football League to challenge the NFL’s stronghold on professional football. A year later, he established the Dallas Texans franchise, which was eventually moved to Kansas City and changed its nickname to the Chiefs. Hunt fought vehemently for the AFL’s survival and spearheaded a total equality merger with the NFL in 1966. His tireless efforts with the new league and the successful franchise he operated as a solid backbone of that league helped forever change the landscape of professional football and formed the NFL as we know and love it today.

1990 Swell Greats #40

Featured Card: 1990 Swell Greats #40. While visionary founders and owners like Lamar Hunt have perhaps the greatest impact on the sport, they are often overlooked in the popular esteem. As such, Hunt does not have an official rookie card, but has been honored in many HOF-focused card sets, such as this junk wax era gem. Current eBay prices are obviously very low for this type of card and would make for an economical addition to any HOF collection.

 
 

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


Bravo, Panini

07.13.2012

Yes, it’s been a while. I know. Busy, busy.

Work.
Baby.
House.

Plus, the business side of 1&G has been doing great recently. That’s good, but it also means a lot more time and effort. Time and effort I used to spend on the blog side. I have been meaning to post for a while and have had several topics come and go without any writing. So instead of waiting for that magical moment when the stars align and I suddenly have tons of time and material, I’m going to try to ease back into this as time allows.

One of my thoughts on cards over the past several months has been the surprising improvement of Panini. After buying Donruss/Playoff, LP to enter the sports card market, Panini seemed to just pump out set after set of crap. Lots of uber-neutral and ho-hum designs. Nearly all sticker autos. Obvious backwards design flaws. One of the leading examples of these trends was always Prestige, the very early football release.

Let’s do a quick recap:

In 2010, Prestige featured all grey base cards, super close up photos of rookies with no uniform colors or logos showing (due to the set’s early release and Panini’s inability to show NCAA branding), and an overal blah feel to the product.

In 2011, Prestige added a bit of color to the card fronts and tried to make team logos more prevalent, but the rookie photos were still awful and despite the improved effort, the cards still felt very neutral and not particularly appealing.

Now, take a look at this:

Wow. What is this? Bold team colors. Prominent logos. Fantastic photo. Clean design. Instead of just taking a tired and old design and slightly tweaking it, Panini essentially threw away the Prestige of yesterday and completely redesigned the set. I’m not doing a full product review (and sadly, 1&G reviews may be dead for the time being), but I will point out that inserts were also pretty attractive and even…gasp…featured on-card autographs! Not every autograph, but some is better than none.

Is this a perfect card? No. Is it the end-all, be-all for early set releases? No. Would I be happy if every Prestige set in the future looks like this? Obviously not.

But it’s progress.

And that is very refreshing…


Welcome to the Big Leagues, Kid

04.24.2012

Andrew Luck, the star quarterback who is already reportedly the Colts’ number 1 draft choice, is getting used to being in the spotlight. Every writer and analyst who has an opinion on football has either labeled him as the next big thing or a highly overrated soon-to-be draft bust. Almost all NFL talk in the past month has at least mentioned Luck’s name.

Now Luck is getting a little more attention than he may have wanted.

And it stems from a trading card.


Leaf uses Luck’s image to his chagrin

A report was released today that states Andrew Luck’s lawyer has issued a cease and desist letter to Leaf Trading Cards over the company’s use of a photo of Luck from the 2008 U.S. Army All-American game, an event for which Leaf holds trading card rights. Leaf has countered the attack by suing Luck claiming it has every right to use the images from that game.

You can read the full story here.

What do you guys think about this story? Is this another case of a young athlete with an inflated ego trying to pull his weight, or an example of a company trying to capitalize on the popularity of a young blooming star?


Airbrushed Goodness

03.26.2012

PhotoShop is pretty awesome. I think we all know this. Here is just one more shining example.

Anyone who has even the slightest interest in football, or perhaps even sports in general, knows all about Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow’s subsequent trade to the New York Jets. What some may not realize is how that created a potential problem for card sets. Most collectors hate the red-jersey-from-summer-mini-camp photographs on their cards. A good number dislike the player-in-his-former-jersey-but-with-new-team-card-logo-and-small-“Traded”-notation method. So what else can be done?

Airbrushing.

Topps has announced that these two high-profile quarterbacks will be shown in their new team jerseys in the company’s first 2012 football release, 2012 Bowman. There are even mock images available already:


Manning and Tebow in their new, albeit airbrushed, unis

Hopefully this example, along with a relatively normal off-season (compared to last season’s labor lock-out debacle), will lead to a much improved image bank for the upcoming football release calendar. Last year was just a bit irksome with so many draft combine and “incorrect” team logos due to everything being slammed into about two weeks before the season started.

This is a good start to 2012.


New Products Announced for Card Club

02.16.2012

Just a quick update to let everyone know that the products for the next few months of the Cards of the Month Club have been selected and posted. Just jump over to www.firstandgoalsportscards.com/cardclub.html and click on each sport to see the lineup. Basketball is still a bit of a struggle with a lot of products being cancelled after the whole NBA labor debacle, but Baseball is heating up now that the brand new 2012 products are hitting the shelves!

If you are not already a member of the Cards of the Month Club, consider joining today!